Sex in the Dark kicks off KSU Sex Week

Marshall Miller, Co-founder of Sex Discussed Here!, answers students anonymous question about sex during Sex in the Dark on Oct. 18, 2021.

Sophie Young Reporter

The Kent State Interhall Council’s annual Sex Week kicked off Monday night as a line of students packed the KIVA for “Sex in the Dark.”

The event was an anonymous question-and-answer information session with questions answered by Stephanie Campos and Marshall Miller, educators and experts from sexualityeducation.com.

Students scanned a QR code and sent messages anonymously from a website. Others could then upvote questions to prioritize them for answers.

“A big part of this event is opening the conversation, which is a really great thing to start our sex week off with,” said Lauren Donnella, director of programming for Kent Interhall Council. “Having it on Monday was very intentional.”

Students donned glow stick necklaces as they entered, waving hello to the “condom fairy” and browsing through pins with snappy slogans like “love sees no gender,” “brains over breasts” and “beauty comes in all sizes” at Campos and Miller’s merchandise table. 

Donnella introduced the event with a cheerful, “Hey, gang! Welcome to Sex Week!” The audience responded with laughs and clapping, ready for “Sex in the Dark.” They brought the energy throughout the event, with raucous cheers, giggles all around and snapping for relatable answers. 

Campos and Miller highlighted the audience’s diversity as they began, using inclusive language and asking for respect for those of all levels of experience. 

“There may also be people here who are hoping to put these answers to use tonight,” Miller said, eliciting cheers from the audience. But he reassured those who would choose to wait that their decision was valid.

Topics ranged from silly to serious: how-to’s, surveyed favorites, definitions of virginity, healing from sexual assault, hookup culture and more. 

“It will get spicy,” Campos said of the questions early on. 

However, Campos and Miller also provided detailed slides and insightful answers. 

One of Campos’ answers was reiterated in a trivia question at the end. She brought up society’s idea of virginity, discussing how she thinks of virginity as a “v-deck” of various acts instead of a single “v-card.”

The atmosphere adapted to the topic: as some answers met whoops and laughs, while others were quiet as students took note of the information.

“There’s the fun, and the condoms and the games,” said Donnella. However, she said information is the purpose behind this event and many parts of Sex Week. 

Prior to the event, Donnella and KIC executive director Julia Taylor shared the history and research behind Sex Week in an interview. They explained that our annual program is not alone, as they found precedent in Ivy League schools like Harvard and Yale. 

Kent Interhall Council’s executive board has been planning Sex Week for months and this year’s schedule includes both new events and annual traditions.

For many sophomores like Donnella, this is their first on-campus experience with Sex Week. For first-timers or veterans to “Sex in the Dark,” Donnella claims the accurate information students gain from this event is vital. This event is “giving them the space and the opportunity to talk about these things,” from the comfort of anonymity.

Sophie Young is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]